Memorandum submitted by the Grimsby Fish
Merchants' Association Ltd (T4)
The Grimsby FMA is a processors' organisation
looking after the interests of over 100 companies, the majority
in Grimsby, but also in Hull, Bridlington and Scarborough. Our
continuing concern is the state of fish stocks and the decline
in landings throughout the UK. We prefer to support our local
market, but increasingly it is relying on imports from Third Countries.
We would hope to see an improvement in the number of vessels using
Grimsby and this could only happen if there is investment on the
catching side to modernise the fleet.
Too many processors are chasing too few fish
and in line with reduced quotas, catching efforts and landings,
it seems inevitable there should be a re-structure of port market
The benefit of electronic auctions are clear
and we support the introduction of them to the UK market. Grimsby
is proceeding with an electronic auction, which eventually will
be successful, but in the short term will take some time to develop
because of the aversion by the industry to change.
The salmon industry and other aquaculture activities
benefit from their exclusion of paying the SFIA levy and this
disparity needs addressing.
Our sector are concerned by the continual stream
of legislation such as the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive,
The Climate Change Levy, Control Regulations, Hygiene Charges
and the Veterinary Inspection Charge, which are proving difficult
and costly for the industry to comply with. "A level playing
field effect" must be applied in the interpretation of this
legislation so that our European colleagues, who may not always
be subjected to equally stringent controls, are not receiving
a trading advantage.
We feel there should be research into the development
for other uses for fish offal, as it makes sense to maximise the
value from an increasingly scarce commodity.
We support strongly the need for a strategy
to take account of all the industry's requirements that can lead
eventually to a profitable and sustainable seafish industry.
Finally, we support the view that the proposal
for a National Fisheries/Seafood Institute is a far sighted proposal
and suggest that this be driven forward with its existing impetus
as the recent SFIA Survey showed overwhelming support for this
I hope you find these comments useful and constructive.
27 April 2001